About Our Program

The Counseling Psychology program at UNC has been in existence since 1984. It became accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1995 as a PsyD program. The curriculum was modified to offer only the PhD in Counseling Psychology and has been accredited by APA since January 15, 2010. For more information about APA accreditation, contact the American Psychological Association's Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation at 750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, by phone at (202) 336-5979, or on the web at http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/.

In our doctoral program at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), we offer a Major Area of Study in Counseling Psychology with a minimum of 3 full-time academic years of graduate study in didactic course work and supervised clinical training in that Major Area of Study at UNC, which includes completing a dissertation that is consistent with the field of Counseling Psychology; students also complete 1 additional year of pre-doctoral internship. Students must complete at least 2 of the 3 academic training years as a full-time resident at UNC. Students that complete our program are appropriately trained in the area of health service psychology to be eligible for licensure as doctoral level psychologists. We offer students experience in being trained in treatment interventions from multiple modalities by completing: two individual practica courses, one family systems course, one couples and family practicum course, and a group practicum course. Live supervision is provided for these practica courses at our on-site training clinic that provides psychological services to community members and university students. Students are also exposed to psychological assessment by completing a cognitive assessment course and a personality assessment course, as well as the option of completing additional assessment courses. Furthermore, our students are trained to create, disseminate, and utilize scholarly research to engage in evidence-based practice. Our program places relatively greater concentration on training related to research. Students take six courses in the area of research and have the option of completing one additional research course in order to receive a doctoral minor in applied statistics and research methods.

More About our Program

APA-accredited doctoral programs in health service psychology must provide general education and training in discipline-specific knowledge (DSK) and profession-wide competencies (PWC). Therefore, our Counseling Psychology (PhD) program is designed to train students according to current competency guidelines that will prepare them to practice in health service psychology. Our curriculum addresses all of the domains required for accreditation (i.e., DSK & PWC) and incorporates counseling psychology specific competencies and program-distinctive training opportunities.

Elements that distinguish our program include training in at least three core treatment modalities: Individual, Group, and Couples and Family. Doctoral students are supervised by licensed psychologists for their clinical practica experiences and receive live supervision from behind a one-way mirror. Students received feedback immediately after finishing sessions and review real-time feedback dubbed onto session recordings; our on-site training clinical also utilizes electronic medical records (e.g. Titanium). In addition to completing clinical practica in the three core treatment modalities, all students complete a practicum in Clinical Supervision of individual therapy and have further opportunities to supervise both Group and Couples and Family practica. Students also engage in clinic administration and outreach opportunities, as well as external practicum at a variety of settings (e.g., University Counseling Centers, Veterans Administration, Medical/Integrated Care, Correctional Facilities, Community Mental Health Centers). Additionally, students participate in distinct Cognitive and Personality practica Assessment courses in which they learn to administer, score, and interpret a wide variety of psychological instruments including the MMPI-2, Rorschach, and Wechsler's tests.

The program's academic curriculum encapsulates each of the required Discipline-Specific Knowledge Areas. These include intensive courses in History and Systems of Psychology, Affective Aspects of Behavior, Biological Aspects of Behavior, Developmental Aspects of Behavior, and Social Aspects of Behavior. Beyond these, students are trained in an advanced integration of at least two of the previous six domains.

Our program believes that it is important for students to become contributors to and informed consumers of psychological research. Consequently, they receive training in research methods, quantitative methods, and psychometrics. Students complete a rigorous statistics sequence as well as courses in qualitative methodologies. They participate in program evaluation research projects and individual research projects. All students present at national (e.g., APA) and/or regional (e.g., Rocky Mountain APA) professional conferences, as well as local venues. Many students have submitted manuscripts that are under peer-review while in the program. Our research training culminates with the doctoral dissertation, which includes a publication ready manuscript.

At UNC you will enter an academic environment that demonstrates respect for and understanding of cultural and individual diversity.